Thursday, May 31, 2012

If Life Were Fair

If life were fair, tonight would be completely different.  I'd be excitedly preparing for my wedding tomorrow, and probably stressing over something ridiculous like bouquets or napkins.  Knowing Jon and I, we wouldn't spend the night apart.  We'd probably stay up talking, anxiously awaiting the next day. Joking about our crazy relatives, silly friends, and saying we can't wait for the honeymoon.  We'd talk about the future we had laid out before us.  We'd practice saying my new full name.  We'd go to sleep spooning, smiling, and knowing that the wedding, big or small, really came down to us.  We'd know that the whole world would melt away as we said our vows.  

If life were fair, SO much would be different.  We never asked for it to be completely fair.  I mean, we accepted Jon's illness.  We thought that was enough.  It makes me angry to think about all we went through and still didn't get the ending we wanted -- which was no ending at all.  

But here I am.  Walking around every single day with the enormous weight of the truth -- life is truly not fair.  Jon is NOT here. And we will never get what we wanted.  

I can sit here and lament all that was taken away from me, all that could have been, all the happiness we WOULD have had together.  I can be angry that I met Jon and knew true love only for it to be stolen from me.  And I do get mad.  I do cry, often at weird times.  But the place I always come back to is appreciation.  It may sound weird, but I was loved by an angel.  

People always like to exaggerate the goodness of people after they die.  "Oh so and so was just the best."  But the funny thing is, with Jon, it's actually true.  He was THAT amazing.  He was THAT special.  And we loved each other THAT much.  I don't really know how he existed. I've never encountered someone with so much talent in so many different areas, with such sweetness, wit and intelligence, not to mention a beautiful face and a smile that could light up any room.  He had a confident ease about him. He calmed people down with his presence.  You had no choice but to laugh at his jokes.  Even when we argued, I could not help but love him.  The passion between us was undeniable.  I was impressed by him, simply in awe.  And he loved me.  

This path that I'm on will never be what I imagined.  But I do know I will try to fill it with as much happiness as I can.  I know that someone like Jon existed.  I know that a love like ours was real.  I will never be ok with anything less than everything.  I would rather never love someone again than settle for anything less.  

6.1.12 will always represent a dream.  The day we planned for and talked about.  It was the first step toward the rest of our lives together.  It will always remind me of what might have been.  Maybe we wanted it so bad to prove that we'd make it...that we could have a future.  That we were winning.

I have no question in my mind that Jon was my other half.  A big party wouldn't have changed a thing.  He wears a wedding band that represents our commitment to one another...that we belonged to each other.

In one of our earlier emails, Jon and I talked about bad things happening to good people.  He said he was very aware that that happened and so he never felt singled out by the fact that he got sick.  He said it made him not want to believe in God though, which of course made him feel like we were sort of alone in the universe.  We discussed which was worse -- to imagine a God who allowed these things to happen or worse, made these things happen, or to believe we are completely on our own.  We never really reached a conclusion.

Losing Jon has certainly rattled my already skeptical faith.  But I do believe SOMETHING brought him into my life.  And for that, I am forever grateful.

Love was our religion.  It was always hard for me to "feel" God's love, like they taught in all my years of Catholic school.  I never grasped the idea that God was always with us, though I wanted to.  It's ironic but it's so easy for me to feel Jon around me.  I can feel his love.  I believe in it wholeheartedly.  It is the one thing I have unwavering faith in.

The tattoo I just got on the side of my wrist is the word "Love" in Jon's handwriting (traced from a letter he wrote me a long time ago).  It means many different things to me.  It obviously serves as a reminder of Jon's love for me, the love between us, but it also is reminder of our belief that love was the answer to almost every question.  It also reminds me to love.  I took such a risk loving Jon.  It was worth it.  The word etched into my skin will remind me to never hold back out of fear.

Jon and I discussed having children often.  He was afraid of leaving me alone with babies (we were always pretty realistic about the possibility).  But we decided, they were better off having him as their father even if he wasn't around for long, than most kids are with dads who are around their entire lives. I told him that I was proud because I'd be able to tell our daughter (or son) someday that true love really exists.  I'd be able to tell them firsthand.

I don't know where this path is headed or who will be beside me.  But I do know for sure that I will still be able to, without question, impart the knowledge of true love to my child someday.  Being loved the way Jon loved me will shape every move I make.  It has somehow made me a calmer, stronger person.  I am a better version of myself because of having Jon in my life.

I wish with all my heart I could wake up and the last 4 months would just be a terrible nightmare.  To have such beauty, such possibility in front of you and then to have it grabbed out from under you, is perhaps one of the most soul crushing experiences I'd imagine one could face.  But our love serves as a protective shield around me, softening the blows of such tragedy.

Tomorrow will be difficult.  So will the next day.  But somehow, the good still outweighs the bad.

"I LOVE you with a love beyond love. And with every single part of me, I love you completely." -- JHS

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